March 28, 2017 – Marrone Bio Innovations Inc. (MBI), a leading global provider of bio-based pest management and plant health products, and Evogene Ltd., a leading company for the improvement of crop productivity and economics for food, feed and fuel, announced today that MBI will advance certain novel bacteria and Evogene-identified related proteins into MBI's bioinsecticide product development pipeline under their previously announced multi-year collaboration for the discovery and development of novel insect control solutions.

According to MarketsandMarkets, the bioinsecticides market was estimated to be valued at $1.2 billion in 2015. It is projected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 18.3% from 2016 to 2021, reaching $3.2 billion by 2021. However, MBI also expects to access the larger chemical insecticide market, valued at $14 billion in 2014, according to Jefferies. MBI has historically brought new biopesticides to the market in approximately 3-5 years or less. The target pests related to MBI’s potential new product include the caterpillar (lepidopteran) and sucking bug (hemipteran/homopteran) species.

The collaboration, initiated in July 2014, and supported by funding from the Binational Industrial Research and Development (BIRD) Foundation, aims to bring to market new insect control solutions – both seed traits and bio-insecticides – through leveraging the expertise and distinct assets and capabilities of each party. The parties have agreed to share revenues from any products that may result from this collaboration.

Utilizing its proprietary computational platform BiomeMiner™ and other predictive discovery capabilities, Evogene identified candidate proteins from tens of thousands of proteins within selected insecticidal strains from MBI's extensive and proprietary bacterial collection. The proteins’ bioactivity for pest control was then validated in insect assays, with the result that a subset of the candidate proteins demonstrated positive insecticidal results.

The advancement announced today represents the completion of the collaboration's discovery phase and a shift by the companies towards product development. The bacteria that were selected to advance into MBI's pipeline contain candidate proteins with positive insecticidal properties, while in parallel Evogene continues its product development efforts to develop seed trait solutions based on such proteins.

Pam Marrone, CEO and Founder of Marrone Bio Innovations, said “It is exciting to see validation of the companies’ joint work in the discovery phase as we move toward product development activities. MBI already has significant experience with the development of bioinsecticide products, and we will be targeting our future efforts on filling gaps in our portfolio to better address unmet needs in the market.”

Ofer Haviv, President and CEO of Evogene, stated, “We are very pleased with the successful completion of the discovery stage for this program with both parties now advancing into product development based on Evogene-identified proteins. We look forward to continuing this collaboration with MBI and to the successful development of new insect control solutions by each of us."